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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 20, 2013 11:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Importance of Attending a Show: Part II

There are two mitigating factors at work here.

The 1) Importance of having attended a show or shows is critical to "getting" the band. We all know people in our lives or perfect strangers on line who hear the tapes and either say "I just don't see what's so great about these guys", or react with outright hostility and name calling that would make even the most embittered opposed members of Congress seem like bosom buddies. Now, maybe these people MIGHT have had the same reaction having been to a show, but I'm guessing that even those who didn;t care for the music in the final analysis would AT LEAST begrudgingly admit that the palpable sense of sheer excitement, lunacy, passion, hell just call it what it is: LOVE for this band and what they were doing on stage--the ebb and flow & give and take between the output and energy of the music and the call and response of the crowd--was indeed something special and not at all like any other concert they had attended previously. (This sense would be increased w/any time spent pre-show in the carnival-like tailgating atmosphere in the parking lot.)

2) There is also an X-factor that has nothing to do with attending a show that some younger heads i've spoken to (creatures to me who are amazing in their love for a band that was basically relegated to dinosaur status by the mid-70's, never mind its irrelevance in modern-day Bieber-world; the brief blip into top-tendom of "Touch of Grey" notwithstanding) have expressed, which is an affinity for THIS music itself that does not necessarily require having seen them live: i.e. The weirdly perfect crafting of eclectic musical styles--from jazz to funk to psychedelia to country to flat out rock and roll and ballads and folk--with the majestically and all-too-underrated beautiful lyrics penned by Hunter and Barlowe that EVOKE emotion...that MEAN something to the listener. The reason why I am enthralled now and forever by the blissful combination of soaring jams in "Scarlet" and "Birdsong" and "Eyes" combined with the zen truth of the message: "Once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right"...."When you hear that same sweet song again will you know why/anyone who sings a tune so sweet is passing by"...."Sometimes we live no particular way but our own..." These songs come to mean something more than the sum of their parts to those who love them. You don't need to have seen them performed live to appreciate them...(of course it only helps), but DeadHeads are in the end a unique bunch who somehow cohere to a shared vision and feeling that this band produced greatness and originality that could not be equaled anywhere else in the traditional musical business universe. They existed apart from it while at the same time being technically a part OF it. More simply put of course by Garcia himself: "Not everyone likes licorice, but people who like licorice REALLY like licorice."

In the end, the 70+ shows I saw between 1979 and 1994 were delightful, giddy, magical events spent dancing, singing, partying with friends, pouring over the minutiae of each performance to try and stretch out its permanence in the mind; a once-in-a-lifetime thrill of anticipation and release where I could exist outside myself for the duration of the show and revel in songs that I knew and loved so well I could sing them in my sleep...sharing them with a small group of friends and then thousands of strangers who all felt like friends.

No, there was NOTHING like a Grateful Dead concert, and even though you didn't have to have gone to a show to "get" the band, I wish everyone had been able least be able to say "Thank you...for a real good time."

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jan 20, 2013 8:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Importance of Attending a Show: Part II

>an affinity for THIS music itself that does not necessarily require having seen them live:

Right. Some people latch onto this particular music and REALLY latch onto it; for whatever reason, it generated a whole scene around it consisting of other people who latched onto this particular music and REALLY latched onto it, and while that was definitely a big part of the experience (almost two sides of the same coin, in the sense that the best iterations of the music that drew people in were actually live, so you got the culture with the music and the music with the culture) ... if there's wasn't Something About the Music in the first place there'd have been no scene and no nothing and we wouldn't be talking about it now!